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Ayreon - The Final Experiment CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.41 | 352 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nowadays Ayreon is a known progrock musician but back in the early Nineties he had to visit many record labels to get his music on a CD: again and again he was rejected (to be seen on one of his latest re-releases that shows in the booklet all those negative answers by records labels, great move by Arjen Lucassen and quite embarrasing for those record labels) but in the end the new Dutch label Transmission (also responsible for re-releases on CD from other Dutch progrock band Finch) gave Ayreon a chance, in 1995 he released his debut CD entitled The Final Experiment. Ayreon founded a band and recruited known musicians like Cleem Determeyer and Peter Vink from Finch, Barry Hay from Golden Earring and Lenny Wolf from Kingdome Come. It would become Arjen's habit to use many known guest musicians on his albums but his dream still is Jurgen Fritz from German ELP-inspired band Triumvirat!

The story of this concept albums starts in the year 2084 AD when scientists try to avoid total destruction of the Earth. With a new computer programm called Time Telepathy they succeeded in contacting a blind minstrel from the sixth century called Ayreon. He has to warn people for the impending downfall by singing his vision. He even meets Merlin but the famous magician vows that Ayreon's word will be spread in the twentieth century. And so the moralistic epilogue says "The outcome of the final experiment has now been placed in your hands". Fortunately the music has not become an ordinary clash between ego's or just another exhibition of self-indulgence. This CD shows a tight band, scouting the borders between hardrock and symphonic rock. Most of the 15 tracks are strong and varied. Especially the use of many different singers (an Ayreon trademark) adds an extra dimension to the music. Arjen Lucassen delivers many biting soli with hints from Satriani (and also with echoes from his hero Ritchie Blackmore) but there is no overkill. Cleem Determeijer has a remarkable part in the music: sumptuous sounding synthesizers (Juno/Oberheim/Moog), a beautiful flute and harpsichord duet (Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy), nice interplay between Mellotron and acoustic guitar (Listen To The Waves) and piano and Mellotron (Swan Song) and delicate harmony between different keyboards, flute and biting guitar, like a desperate cry of the future in The Charm Of The Seer. On this CD there is chemistry between the musicians and between the music and lyrics, this makes The Final Experiment to one of the best Dutch progrock debut albums!

A good start to discover the Dutch progrock master Ayreon but there was better to come! My rating: 3,5 stars.

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |


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